Technically, the country will go over the "fiscal cliff" at midnight tonight, however, the significant progress in congressional negotiations signal that any time over the "cliff" should be brief.
House Republicans told their ranks that there will be no votes on any "cliff"-related legislation today and barring an unexpected change, the House will reconvene at noon on New Year's Day.
Meantime, President Obama and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., indicated today that they're close to a deal to avoid tax increases and spending cuts that take effect at midnight.
With negotiations still ongoing and the timing of a vote on a "cliff" deal still in flux, the House's announcement means the deadline will pass without averting the "cliff"; the Senate could still pass a deal tonight but without House passage, the president doesn't have a bill to sign into law.
And although the country technically goes over the "cliff" at midnight, the significant progress in the negotiations signals any detrimental impact from the "cliff" will be avoided, even if a vote happens after midnight - that is, unless a deal is eventually voted down in Congress or the talks collapse altogether before a vote.
Assuming a deal is passed and signed by the president Tuesday or Wednesday, included in that deal will likely be language that retroactively reverses any effects of going over the "cliff", therefore negating any negative impact of missing the deadline.